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Divorce Is a Mitzvah: A Practical Guide to Finding Wholeness and Holiness When Your Marriage Dies Paperback – August 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If marriage is a holy act, what does that make divorce? A rabbi, divorced father of three and the child of divorce, Netter writes about divorce with clarity on both practical and emotional issues and doesn't hesitate to share his own pain and growth. Jewish literature, both classical and contemporary, he says, is uncharacteristically silent about divorce. Conventional wisdom still interprets it as a sin, an embarrassment to family and community. One exception is Rashi, the 11th-century biblical commentator, who states succinctly that "divorce is a mitzvah"(a commandment or good deed) in his remarks on a passage in Deuteronomy about granting a bill of divorce. "To seek the holy and the sacred is what I believe to be the central question governing divorce," writes Netter. Each chapter tackles common questions that Netter addresses with tact and sensitivity, placing them in appropriate psychological, legal, emotional, financial and religious contexts: Why is this happening to me? Should I leave or not? What do I do with all this anger? What is the ritual of the "get" (Jewish bill of divorce)? Do I litigate or mediate? How do we continue raising children together? Powerful biblical examples recast the growth process that often accompanies divorce. Rabbi Laura Geller's afterword on new Jewish divorce rituals adds a welcome feminist perspective. Netter's guide reads like an extended visit to the rabbi's study-especially comforting because this rabbi knows all too well what his visitor is going through.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A rich resource for Jews seeking wisdom as they face divorce. Skillfully draws upon Jewish tradition to point the way to a path of holiness and hope amidst divorce's painful terrain of sadness, anger and confusion."
Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, editor, Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook from Traditional and Contemporary Sources; director, Geriatric Chaplaincy Program, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

"A highly readable explanation of the cycle of love, marriage and divorce, drawing on Judaic sources, psychology, true stories and personal experience. Reveals great truths and can enhance a stable marriage, help a marriage in crisis, and facilitate divorce if needed."
Rabbi Levi Meier, PhD, chaplain, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; clinical psychologist; author, Ancient Secrets: Using the Stories of the Bible to Improve Our Everyday Lives

“A unique, perceptive and constructive book about divorce. Any Jewish divorcing couple will find the wisdom and guidance in this book a great help.”
E. M. Hetherington, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia; author, For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing; 1 edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580231721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580231725
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
In "Divorce is a Mitzvah" Rabbi Perry Netter takes the reader through a Jewish perspective of divorce. A mitzvah is defined as a response to the voice of God that commands us to behave in a particular way. While Jewish scholars have many writings on the importance and symbolic significance of marriage and being an ideal couple, there is a dearth of writings concerning divorce.
Rabbi Netter tackles this problem and many of the hardest questions of divorce. Chapters include: "Why is this happening to me?", "Is divorce Kosher?", "What do I do with all this anger?", "How do we tell the kids?", "How do I get to closure?", and "How do we continue to raise children together?". All this is done from an understanding and compassionate position within the Jewish belief system. The book is a highly recommended read for Jewish readers seeking answers on the question of divorce.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
"I wish I had read Divorce Is A Mitzvah when I was going through my divorce. Not only would it have given me much-needed moral support but it might have helped to dramatically reduce the levels of anger and recrimination between my soon-to-be ex-husband and myself. I have read other Jewish books on the subject of divorce but none are as loving, caring and helpful as this one; Netter is a human being speaking to other human beings. In addition to offering sage advice, he really does manage to fulfill his aim of ending "the silence in the Jewish world about divorce, and in a small way, help to alleviate much of the unnecessary pain and suffering that seem to be so much a par tof hte ontemporary divorce." This book should be required reading for all couples because the device that it gives and the divine clarity that it sheds will only help them deal even better with their existing marriages -- let alone if they have to come to the sad solution of divorce." ... reviewed in the Jerusalem Post, November 20, 2002
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
For anyone considering a divorce, for those in the throes of one, or for
those still recovering from one, the title of Netter's book alone will
lighten your burden--Divorce is a Mitzvah, A Practical Guide to Finding
Wholeness and Holiness When Your Marriage Dies. In the book, Netter tells
us what Judaism has to say about divorce. He also discusses the related
topics of love, marriage, anger, and loneliness, using stories from the
Torah to make his points. But as anyone who has ever read a Torah passage
will attest, virtually every word can have multiple translations--or at
least nuances--and this rabbi, a divorced man himself, tends to put a spin
on these tales that can salve the souls of the divorced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Gluck on December 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a first-person story of a Rabbi who went though a divorce. He relates his thoughts and the thoughts of his friends and congregants as the process unfolds. My favorite quote: "The decision to divorce is the decision to exchange one kind of pain for another".
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